Friday, October 17, 2014

Thank You!

Last night we had our Girls Night Out Event for October and it was a HUGE SUCCESS!  Victor E. and the NIU Husky Cheerleaders hit the town visiting with customers and shops to rally the Football teams 3 home game in a row this Saturday!

The shops was busy all night with customers enjoying special sales off Fall Decor.

I decided to continue the SALE through the weekend for all our out of town shoppers who visit us!  Pop in and see all the new furniture pieces in and of course enjoy the sale!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Q& A Time!

This segment will address frequently asked Q&A's we hear often from our customers at the shop. If you have a question, please email it to us at 

Do I need to sand before painting with Chalk Paint®?

Chalk Paint® decorative paint adheres to almost any surface, indoors and out. There's rarely a need to sand or prime before painting. Most times cleaning and dusting off the surface will do. There may be at times, however, when you'll need to sand to remove loose paint, rust, and other surface debris, or when the surface is very glossy. For example laminates, melamine, and mirror finishes may need light sanding to haze the finish. Don't sand too much! You don't need to sand down to the wood or scratch the laminate surface.

Can I paint my kitchen counter tops and black splash with Chalk Paint®?

It's not advisable to paint counter tops nor a back splash. Chalk Paint® decorative paint, even when sealed with a quality sealer such as Annie Sloan Soft Wax or Annie Sloan Lacquer, will not be 100% non-porous and this can present problems with cross contamination. The surface my appear clean but it may not be deep down. 

Are Chalk Paint® and Soft Wax good choices for kitchen and bathroom cabinets?

YES! You can use Chalk Paint® decorative paint on most wood cabinetry. Chalk Paint® is meant to give character and interest to cabinetry rather than a perfectly smooth "factory" finish. Typically there is no need to sand or prime although in areas that receive a lot of use, like the cutlery drawer, it might be wise to lightly sand to remove stubborn grease. Soft Wax makes a good bond to the paint for durability. You can easily maintain your finish by simply wiping the surface with a soft cloth and mild soap and water to clean and refresh every now and again with a light application of wax as needed.

More Q&A will be featured on our Facebook page as well as Part 2 here on the web.
We hope this is helpful and look forward to chatting with you soon!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

house to Home

It seems like I have Grand Ideas of projects I'd like to tackle in my house.  Yes, I use house as it's not a good reflection of my style.  Home is wherever I am with my family...sometimes it's the House...sometimes it's my family home down south, sometimes it's the get the picture :)

When we bought this house back in 2008, we thought it would be Home.  Maybe not our forever home, but home as in a long term place...a place my kids would fondly think of during their most challenging years...a haven to nestle down the piano, watch a fire crackle, the grand entrance down the stair case at homecoming.  I knew there would be projects I'd want to do..paint..seriously, the living room was periwinkle and pink.  Change lighting, maybe cabinets and definitely the counter-tops, and the most poorly designed bathrooms known to man!  Not that they had to be done ASAP...or even within the first years.  I'm good with taking time, planning and creating a dream design on a beer budget.

When you buy a house, it's like a marriage.  Lot's of give and take.  This house has been an up hill battle.  It wasn't old by any means, but it sure wasn't new, nor as wonderfully built as the previous owners led us to believe. Yes, it has a great open floor plan...which has caused heating the upstairs almost impossible.  Poor insulation, antiquated HVAC system & roof are all delays we didn't expect when we bought this house.  All these problems have cause my hopes and dreams of creating this house a home to nearly disappear...until recently.

In 2014, or actually late 2013 I decided it was time.  Time to stoke the fire to my dreams of turning this house into our home.  The roof has been replaced, insulation installed and HVAC evaluated.  Can't do all those things at once.  It's funny how some can take a weekend and re-vamp an entire room.  Those of us with champagne taste on a beer budget know it's not that easy.  And why slap lipstick on a pig if it's wearing a masque?  The bones are getting stronger of this house.  So now it's time to start pulling together things that warm my heart, give me butterflies to see, & nest.

I'm excited...I bought a rug...a few lamps...a new rustic harvest table...wonderfully ornate chairs...amazing salvaged architectural stuff...antique chandis and lighting...I'm going to paint the kitchen cabinets..when I find the courage!  My dreams are smoldering...I'm designing...creating...Home~

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Another Revisit & Gilt Cream

Ever had that Christmas morning moment as an adult.  Seems like I have them frequently which makes me wonder if my mind is so simple and child like that I will never grow up or that I'm just easily entertained.  Either way I smile a lot :)

Some of you may remember a post about My Latest & Greatest...Continued.  Well, I'm happy to say...and sad to inform that this set has come and gone (the HAPPY part)...with few pictures (the sad part).

This sweet little set from 1934!  How did I know that?  It was stamped on the hardware.  Was an amazing find that just continued to get better and better the more I worked with it!  Love those!

Here is the After.  Again, I apologize for the wonky pictures.  Between it selling fast and bring it to the shop...I ran out of good photo opportunities.   Ahhh...just never enough time in the day;)

This set was SOOOO  beautiful when I was finished with it!  So many oohs and aaahs!  These pictures don't begin to give this wonderful piece justice!

This piece is a multi step project not for the faint of heart.  No, its not difficult, just time consuming.  Worth EVERY second for the finished product!
Step 1: I used Graphite for the base color.  
Step 2: Sand with 220 & then 600 grit sand papers.
Step 3: Clear Wax
Step 4: WAIT 24 Hours & then Buff
Step 5: I then used a French Linen wash.
Step 6: WAIT 24 Hours for the wash to completely dry
Step 7: Then mixed a glaze with dark wax, mineral spirits, and GILT CREAM!  IT'S IN THE STORE NOW!
Applied the glaze with a brush catching any runs with ripple cloth.
Step 8: WAIT another 24 hours
Step 9: Buff lightly and applied another layer of clear wax.
Step 10: WAIT 24 hours and then buff to perfection!

It was by far the MOST asked about piece in the shop thus far.  We had MANY face prints on the window of our lovely, drooling customers :)  We don't mind!  It was so worth drooling for!

Not only was it the most asked about piece, it also showcased a new product we have been working for months on getting in the store.  AND NOW IT'S IN!!!
These little creams are wonderful for mixing into glazes!  They add just a touch of sparkle!  When used alone, they really make a statement!  

I hope you have enjoyed this post and quick step by step of how I created the finish on this piece.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

English Yellow & Pure White

English Yellow is one of those colors that probably needs to be cut with another color as it's a very sharp color on it's own.  Another way to tone the color down is to pair it with it's complementary, violet or in this case Emile.

Let's start in the beginning!  Mixing Pure White and English Yellow in a 1 to 1 mix, this toned down the green-ish color of English Yellow while keeping the crisp feel of the color.  I put two coats, straight from the can.  Pure White is a little on the thin side as there's no pigment in the paint.  English Yellow is a little thin as well, so I decided to simply paint 2 coats straight from the can.  If you had time, and it's not 95 degree weather with 80% humidity like it is right now in northern Illinois, you could pop the can in the fridg and allow the paint to naturally thicken.  Another trick to thicken the paint is to leave the can open for a good bit to evaporate the water out of the paint.  I prefer not to do this as the paint can thicken too much too quickly.  Then it turns into a add a little water to thin it back out...oops! Now there's too much water again...and on and on!  Two to 3 coats with cover nicely!  And it still didn't take that much paint!

I picked this simple little dresser up at a sale and knew it would be perfect to show off a stencil I just ordered from Royal Design Studio.  It's called Arabesque Moroccan...I call it scrolly polly love!  When stenciling, the goal is to have contrast between the base coat and the stenciled image.  If I wanted to keep the sharp crisp color I created, I could have simply taken Annie Sloan lacquer and stenciled on top.  This would have created a monochromatic and very modern!  BUT...I wanted it to be very cottage so I went with Pure White.  Almost 100% of the time, I only put one coat of paint on when using a stencil.  It can be VERY time consuming and difficult to line up the stencil more than once...I'm not a pro by any means, so my stenciling is quick and efficient!  :)

Remembering that I'm quick and efficient when it comes to stenciling...I also lightly sand the stenciled surface.  This removes any "lips" from the relief of the stencil.  It also softens the image a bit so if there are any mistakes, they are less noticeable.

A little tip I almost always do to make each of my painted pieces stand out from the rest is painting the inside of the drawers.  It does take an extra bit of time, but the result is so worth it!  It simply ties the whole piece together and it's that little bit of unexpected flair that puts a smile on your face!

I finished off this cutie with clear wax and painted new hardware a crisp white to match the stenciled pattern.  I love how the hardware doesn't take away from the business of the stencil!

I hope you enjoy this little bit on English Yellow and my stenciling experience.

Friday, June 28, 2013

English Yellow~

Do you love the color of sunshine?  I do and now it's been contained in a quart!  Yes, English Yellow Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is now available at the shop and truly is sunshine in a can!
Call to reserve your's today!